Saturday, March 27, 2010
Racial violence in Britain
It looks like black on Muslim violence. The attackers are described below as black and it has been mentioned elsewhere that the victim was of North African ancestry. That multiculturalism sure is great!
Several schoolgirls are to be questioned over the horrific mob stabbing of a 15-year-old boy at a major railway station in the middle of the rush hour.
The girls were spotted by witnesses as part of a gang, many in school uniform, who chased their victim into a ticket hall before cornering and killing him as terrified commuters looked on.
He was named last night as London-born Sofyen Ghailan, a pupil at the Henry Compton School in Fulham.
Twenty boys aged 14 to 17 were being held over the stabbing at Victoria Tube station in central London. They were questioned at several police stations across the capital. But the fact that schoolgirls were on the fringes of the murder gang has shocked police, who will now investigate what led up to the attack at 5.20pm on Thursday.
A major line of inquiry is that the victim was targeted during a planned fight between rival gangs of pupils from west and south London. The feuding gangs are said to have fought each other in the days leading up to the murder.
The killers are thought to be from a number of schools in South London. Sources said they arrived at Victoria by bus and initially attacked Sofyen outside the station. Then, with girls following closely, they pursued him down the steps into the station before delivering the fatal blows in the booking hall for the District and Circle lines. The boy suffered at least four serious stab wounds to his upper body.
Last night a witness described how he saw a schoolboy thug brandishing a 10in screwdriver leading at least 15 black youths into Victoria. The 25-year-old music producer said: 'They were all aged 15 to 17 and they were all male. I heard somebody shout something and they all started running towards me.
'Suddenly there was this big lad standing in front of me with a massive screwdriver in his hand. At first I thought it was a knife. 'The boy was about 16 and he was wearing a black hoodie and black school trousers. I jumped out of the way pretty quickly and they all ran past me into the station.
'Then I saw a massive scuffle with lots of kids. It looked as if they were all trying to get at something on the floor but there were too many of them for me to see properly. I now know it was this poor person who had been murdered.....
Expensive campaign against oppressive British libel law
The story of how Simon Singh came to be a champion of libel reform, a figurehead for a growing consensus of human rights groups, journalists and politicians, began two years ago, with a libel writ from the British Chiropractic Association. Mr Singh, whose books include Fermat’s Last Theorem and Trick or Treatment: Alternative Medicine on Trial, wrote a piece in The Guardian to mark Chiropractic Awareness Week. He wrote that chiropractic does not cure colic, asthma and persistent crying and the BCA “happily promotes bogus treatments”.
The BCA writ arrived shortly afterwards and — unexpectedly — it was against him personally, rather than The Guardian. “Normally people go for the deepest pockets,” he said. “But they went for me instead — I can’t speculate why, but others have.” Others, less coy, say it is an attempt to ruin a prominent critic of alternative medicine.
The crux of a preliminary hearing, a year ago, was not whether chiropractic works. The hearing, which he had to fight with his own money, hinged instead on whether the word “bogus” implies dishonesty or just ignorance. The BCA believed the former. Mr Singh said he meant the latter. Mr Singh lost, but is now awaiting the imminent results of an appeal.
However, Jack Straw, the Justice Minster, is not interested in the case because of chiropractic. That is not why he this week pledged a law change if Labour wins the election. Nor why Henry Bellingham, his Tory shadow, on Tuesday promised to match Labour’s measures. They are interested because of a growing belief that Britain’s libel laws are muzzling free speech, and — in an age of libel tourism — are a national embarrassment.
We met outside Mr Singh’s Richmond house. The nearby green is flanked by million-pound houses and a former royal palace, and this affluence is the only reason we are talking at all.
“I have had three worldwide bestsellers. If I lose I can take this hit — it will be painful, but I won’t be destitute,” he said.He estimates the BCA’s costs, which he would have to pay if he lost, now exceed £250,000.
“I’m lucky, it won’t destroy my life. But for two years I have done nothing else. If I’m writing a book it dominates my life, and this is the same. You lie awake at night thinking about it.”
The cost of a libel case in England and Wales is 100 times the European average — often more than £1 million. “Even if I win,” Mr Singh said, “I will not get all my costs. There are dozens of libel writs sent every year where people who are absolutely right have to back down because they can’t afford the cost of losing. Or winning.”
This is why, campaigners claim, Britain is the world’s libel capital. Here a Saudi sheikh sued the American author of a book on terrorism funding — which sold only 23 copies in the UK. Peter Wilmshurst, an eminent cardiologist, is being sued here after saying a US heart device did not work.
Mr Wilmshurst is in touch with Mr Singh and, unlike him, faces bankruptcy if he loses. The case, Mr Singh claims, highlights the absurdity of our system. “It concerns an interview he gave in America to a Canadian journalist for an American online magazine at an American conference about an American company. But he is sued in London.”
Libel compaigners want a simpler, quicker and cheaper system. They want libel tribunals — rather like employment tribunals — to speed up the process. They want costs to be capped. They wantcorporations to be unable to sue individuals. And, vitally for Mr Singh, they want a public interest defence. “If I’m writing about a matter of children’s health, or a new heart device, that's a matter of public interest. The libel law should offer you some level of protection, instead of just tripping you up.”
Even if he gets the best possible result on appeal — a verdict is expected any day — the case is not over. Has it been worth it?
“If I lost this case, but the libel laws changed – so we had the same level of fairness and cost they have in the rest of the world – I could live with being the sacrificial lamb.” Mr Singh said. “Ideally though, I win my case, we get libel reform.” He stops, considering the long summer ahead. “And England win the World Cup.”
World capital of hurt feelings
• In 2008 John Mardas, a Greek entrepreneur, won the right to sue The New York Times and International Herald Tribune in an English court for describing him as a “charlatan”. Fewer than 200 hard copies of the article were published in the UK, where the article garnered four hits online.
• Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, the Saudi billionaire, won an out-of-court settlement in 2005 after bringing a lawsuit against the American writer Rachel Ehrenfeld over her book on terrorism, Funding Evil. The book sold only 23 copies in this country.
• Also in 2005, Roman Polanski won £50,000 damages from Vanity Fair magazine for saying that the film director had tried to seduce a woman on the way to his murdered wife’s funeral. High Court judges sitting in London heard Polanski testify from Paris against the US-based publication.
• In 2003, Mohammed Jameel, a Saudi billionaire, won a libel action against The Wall Street Journal Europe for suggesting that Saudi Arabian authorities were monitoring bank accounts of prominent citizens for evidence of supporting terrorism. The Journal won a three-year battle to get the judgment overturned.
Australia: Anti-Islam rally under threat in Victoria
No free speech allowed? Let me see if anything happens when I am critical of Islam: "I think Islam is the Devil's mockery of Christianity". I would be at great risk from the authorities if I said that in Victoria
POLICE are monitoring a group linked to far-Right white supremacists who are planning an anti-Islam march on state Parliament. The march, scheduled for next month, threatens to further damage Melbourne's reputation, already battered by attacks on Indian students.
A group linked to far-Right white supremacists has set up a Facebook page promoting a mass rally against immigrants and Islam. There are fears it might descend into a Cronulla-style riot. "Listen Aussies, it's time to harden up, close the gate, look after our own and keep our country as our country," the Facebook page says.
Premier John Brumby slammed the rally, and said the matter had been referred to police. "Racism is unacceptable in Victoria and will not be tolerated," he said. "It is highly distressing when people seek to abuse their right to freedom of speech."
The president of the Islamic Friendship Association, Keysar Trad, condemned the rally. "It's their democratic right to rally against anything they like, but it gives a very bad image of Australia to our neighbours, and doesn't do much for internal cohesion," he said. "The organisers should realise the majority of Australians do not share their view and can see the benefits and contributions Muslims have made to Australia.
"My message to the community is that Australians will not buy into this type of action. "We've moved on from Cronulla, and they need to realise that."
The Facebook group has gathered about 40 members and has received support from interstate.
Some posting messages have criticised the event. "Cronulla comes to Melbourne. Another sad day for Australian history," one message says.
Police are concerned about the event and have warned organisers not to break the law. "A police response will be decided on once all of the information and intelligence is assessed," a spokeswoman said. "Police will be in touch with the organisers of the event in the near future. "Victoria Police will not tolerate any breach of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act."
A man listed on the Facebook page as being behind the rally said he had no connection to it. However, his own Facebook page links to several white supremacist groups.
Southern Poverty Law Center Officially Declared “Left-Wing Hate Group”
Though always left of center, the Atlanta-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) once had a reputation as a fairly objective civil rights group. Founded by direct-marketing millionaire Morris Dees and partner Joseph Levin Jr. in 1971, the SPLC made important and honorable contributions to many of the historic civil rights gains of the 20th Century. According to its own materials, the SPLC was “internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups.”
Alas, “power corrupts,” as it goes, and the SPLC, having amassed tremendous power and wealth over the years, has regrettably become corrupt to its core. By way of an ever-escalating wave of “us-versus-them” money-grubbing schemes, Today’s SPLC has morphed into a far-left political activist outfit, famous for promoting a panoply of extreme liberal causes.
Ken Silverstein, writing for Harper's Magazine, addressed this untoward metamorphosis in 2000: “Today’s SPLC spends most of its time – and money – on a relentless fund-raising campaign, peddling memberships in the church of tolerance with all the zeal of a circuit rider passing the collection plate. ‘He's the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of the civil rights movement,’ renowned anti-death-penalty lawyer Millard Farmer says of Dees, his former associate, ‘though I don’t mean to malign Jim and Tammy Faye.’
“The American Institute of Philanthropy gives the Center one of the worst ratings of any group it monitors,” continued Silverstein. “Morris Dees doesn't need your financial support. The SPLC is already the wealthiest civil rights group in America, though [its fundraising literature] quite naturally omits that fact. … ‘Morris and I...shared the overriding purpose of making a pile of money,’ recalls Dees’s business partner, a lawyer named Millard Fuller (not to be confused with Millard Farmer). ‘We were not particular about how we did it; we just wanted to be independently rich.’” (You say Fuller. I say Farmer. The two Millards say “call the whole thing off.”)
So, what happens when a dragon slayer – paid per dragon head – runs out of real dragons to slay? Well, he invents new ones, of course. Gotta keep those sprinklers-a-sprinklin.’ (According to Harper’s, “Dees bought a 200-acre estate appointed with tennis courts, a pool, and stables.” SPLC’s 2008 Form-990 shows net assets of over 219 million at the beginning of that year. Yup, there’s a spate to be made in the hate trade.)
Silverstein explains: “The Ku Klux Klan, the SPLC’s most lucrative nemesis, has shrunk from 4 million members in the 1920s to an estimated 2,000 today [year 2000], as many as 10 percent of whom are thought to be FBI informants. But news of a declining Klan does not make for inclining donations to Morris Dees and Co., which is why the SPLC honors nearly every nationally covered ‘hate crime’ with direct-mail alarums full of nightmarish invocations of ‘armed Klan paramilitary forces’ and ‘violent neo-Nazi extremists…’”
But as the real dragons dry-up, new dragons emerge: “Tea Party” conservatives; Evangelical Christians; anti-abortion zealots and anti-gay bigots (read: pro-life and pro-family traditionalists); and, of course, gun-toting, knuckle-dragging 2nd Amendment rednecks. All bundled together – courtesy of the SPLC and Janet “the system worked” Napolitano – in that neat little pejorative package know as – Dun-Dun-Dun! – THE RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST! (You know, basically Middle America.)
So, sadly – shamefully, really – today’s SPLC has become nothing more than a “non-profit” extension of the black helicopter, Huffpo-wing of the Democratic Party – a gaggle of partisan hacks bent on lining their pockets, defaming good people (along with the bad) and filling DNC coffers. (SPLC Director Mark Potok even doubles as a Huffington Post columnist. Seriously. They make it that easy.)
The real problem lies in the fact, however, that the SPLC holds itself out as an objective monitor of potentially violent or subversive hate groups. It presents to municipal, state and federal law enforcement, regular “intelligence files” and an annual “Year in Hate” report. Ostensibly, these reports contain facts – even actionable intelligence – aimed at helping law enforcement officials prevent and/or monitor potentially violent criminal activity.
In recent years the SPLC reports have been utterly tainted – weaponized and used against the leftist group’s ideological and political adversaries. This is a despicable, bad faith abuse of others’ good will, and of the SPLC’s past reputation.
Case in point: Recently, the SPLC came under fire for comparing the “Tea Party” movement and other grassroots conservatives to “terrorists.” Potok slandered “Tea Party” goers, suggesting that “they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism,” and are widely linked to “hate” and “vigilante groups.” Of course there are always a few nuts in any movement, but clearly Potok’s intent was to defame tens of millions of patriotic “Tea Partiers,” simply because he disagrees with them.
It was earlier reported that Janet Napolitano and the Department of Homeland Security relied upon similar reports by the SPLC in preparing the DHS’ own slanderous – now infamous – “Right Wing Extremist” report. You may recall: it painted pretty much all conservatives with that broad, multi-colored brush of “domestic terrorism.” (The report was later pulled, and Napolitano forced to apologize in shame.)
Even more recently, the SPLC launched another in a series of politically motivated attacks against a well-respected Christian organization. The group arbitrarily tagged as an official “hate group” Americans for Truth about Homosexuality (AFTAH).
AFTAH promotes biblical morality, opposes the radical homosexual activist lobby and publicly decries both violence and hatred against homosexuals or anyone else. Although it has been in operation for a number of years, the SPLC only recently labeled AFTAH a “hate group” after being pressured by the Chicago-based “Gay Liberation Network” to do so.
GLN is a fringe group of self-described Marxists and sexual anarchists best known for disrupting peaceful Christian gatherings with raucous, bullhorn laden protests. In a twist most ironic, GLN leader Bob Schwartz once threatened AFTAH founder Peter LaBarbera in front of witnesses, telling him that if the police weren’t present at a rally, he would have pushed LaBarbera into oncoming traffic. (“Hate crime, anyone?” Love that “tolerance” and “diversity.” Where’s the SPLC when you need them?)
You can only cry wolf so many times before people begin to ignore you. Today, the SPLC’s “hate group” reports have begun to resonate almost exclusively within a far-left echo chamber. Newsflash: Moveon.org wants Bush tried as a “war criminal,” Charlie Sheen thinks the U.S. government was behind 9/11 and, yes, the SPLC has once again awarded its now meaningless “hate group” distinction to yet another conservative organization with which it is admittedly – in every way – both politically and ideologically opposed. Who would’ve thunk it?
Don’t get me wrong. Again, in the past, the SPLC has actually done some good by identifying and monitoring real hate groups such as the KKK, neo-Nazis and Skin Heads.
But now, regrettably, the SPLC has traded in its limited usefulness for radical left-wing activism. It has become much like that which it previously sought to expose. Today it uses the very tactics employed by white nationalists and other bona fide hate groups to malign large groups of people whom the SPLC most decidedly “hates.”
It’s nauseatingly transparent. With empty, ad hominem attacks and pejorative “hate group” smears, the SPLC strives to politically marginalize its ideological opponents. It’s a cynical “guilt-by-false-association” scheme, through which the SPLC hopes – in the public mind’s eye – to equate Christians, “Tea Party” conservatives and other traditionalists to the KKK and neo-Nazis.
Still, in going after Americans for Truth, the GLN surprisingly betrayed its SPLC ally by publicly acknowledging SPLC’s nefarious tactics. GLN boasted that this was the strategy all along. The Gay Liberation Network’s stated goal in goading the SPLC to label AFTAH a “hate group” was to “help assist” in AFTAH’s “political marginalization.”
Of course, by kowtowing to an already deeply marginalized GLN; by so obviously abusing its once-respectable reputation; and by spending its last remaining political capital on such folly, the SPLC has only succeeded in further marginalizing itself.
But, as they say: What’s good for the goose… Let’s try it on for size. It’s a “hate group,” mudslinging good time! In exercise of the SPLC’s trademark “I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I” criterion for arbitrarily determining “hate group” status, I hereby declare the Southern Poverty Law Center an “anti-Christian, anti-conservative hate group.” There, it’s official. Try it. It’s fun!
But seriously, if AFTAH is a “hate group,” then so is Liberty Counsel, Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, American Family Association, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Roman Catholic Church. Any group that observes and defends traditional sexual morality would have to be labeled such.
Heck, for that matter, so would the U.S. Armed Forces, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA. These groups publically expose the undeniable medical and societal pitfalls associated with the homosexual lifestyle and, therefore, must be “hate groups,” right?
Of course, like any bully, the SPLC only goes after those it believes it can push around. But really, it confers a badge of honor upon every legitimate Christian and conservative organization it so disingenuously mislabels “hate group.” It’s a tacit admission by the SPLC that these groups represent a political threat; that their activities undermine the SPLC’s not-so-thinly-veiled, left-wing agenda. (Kind of like winning a conservative Grammy.)
Indeed, I can’t speak for the many conservative and Christian organizations and ministries with which I’m associated. And of course I hate absolutely no one. Nonetheless, I’d like to officially request that the SPLC add my name to its spurious “anti-gay hate list.” It’s good for one’s conservative and biblical bona fides.”
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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